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Motivated By God’s Rewards By Wesley K. Willmer and Micah Hogan

How do we become motivated by God’s rewards, not the world’s?

Nowadays everyone has a rewards program. Everything from credit cards to sandwich shops to airlines use reward programs to encourage customer loyalty and to incentivize business. This only makes sense because, like it or not, we’re all motivated by rewards. If you think about it, it is pretty obvious. If I ask you why you are doing something, chances are that your answer will start “so that.” We work hard at our jobs so that we can feed our families. We take a hike in the woods so that we can appreciate the beauty of nature. Much of our lives are spent working toward rewards.

God, it turns out, also offers rewards. But the thing is, not all rewards are created equal: $100 is a better reward for an hour’s work than $10. But let’s say that you were faced with the choice of two jobs that offered you the same hours, one that payed $100 an hour and the other payed $10 an hour. Which job would you choose? The answer, of course, is the job with the higher reward.

God’s economy works in a similar way. We can either serve Mammon, the personification of money and the god of this world, and hope to be rewarded in temporary money. Or, we can serve God and His kingdom and hope to be rewarded with eternal riches in heaven,

“where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:20).

But here’s the catch: as a steward leader you have to choose one.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon” (Matt. 6:24).

You can either have the instant gratification of the rewards of this world, or lay up for yourself treasures in heaven.

When presented with the facts, we all know which is the better deal. The trick is to remember the surpassing riches of God’s rewards even in the face of the persistent salesmen of the world’s reward programs. Day by day we need to pray

“in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).

When we keep before us the promises of God in Christ for those who are sold-out for the kingdom, earthly rewards lose their luster.

“And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”


Wesley K. Willmer, Ph.D. CCNL and Micah Hogan have recently published Stuff and Soul: Mastering the Critical Connection, where they have explored this topic further. You can find it here on Amazon.


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